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Jury Acquits Teen in ’92 Maze Slay

Queens Chronicle | Your Community Newspaper

January 13, 1994
By Blanca M. Quintanilla

A Queens teenager accused of stabbing a 16-year-old boy to death in an Elmhurst hangout known as “The Maze” was acquitted of murder charges last night.

[Defendant], 17, of Maspeth, lowered his head and cried softly when the jury’s verdict was announced. His family and friends in the courtroom embraced and many also cried.

The verdict stunned family members of [Deceased], who was stabbed 18 times in the graffiti-scarred series of alleys behind warehouses near the Elmhurst gas tanks.

“A young man is dead, but my client pleaded innocent from the beginning and the verdict showed that,” said [Defendant’s] attorney, Todd Greenberg.

Assistant District Attorney Debra Lynn Pomodore said only, “The jury has spoken and I accept the verdict.”

Jurors were unavailable for comment last night.

Greenberg did not call a single defense witness during the trial. He attacked the credibility of the graffiti vandals who testified they saw [Defendant] repeatedly stab [Deceased] on Dec. 6, 1992.

The Maze is a series of alleys formed by the walls of warehouses at 52d Court and 74th St. At the time of the slaying, police said it was a hangout for teens who often scrawled graffiti and set fires.